A knife-wielding man in New York City was disarmed by a store clerk and then shot by two NYPD officers in an early morning June incident outside a deli.
The man, 55-year-old Peyman Bahadoran, claims to have been having a mental breakdown while walking his dog and carrying a 12-inch Defender Xtreme serrated hunting knife in a sheath on his right hip, according to the Daily News.
Bahadoran was disarmed before being shot in the arm and back by two NYPD officers, but he did lunge at an officer before being shot.
The NYPD recently released security and body camera footage of the incident, which Bahadoran’s lawyer says proves his client was unarmed and not posing a danger to the officers.
The new footage “provides additional evidence that he did not pose a deadly threat to the officers and they shot and paralyzed this man for absolutely no reason,” said Bahadoran’s lawyer, Earl Ward.
“It further disproves the claim by the department that he was ‘reaching’ and ‘lunging.’ He posed no deadly risk and now there’s a bullet lodged in his spine and he may never walk again.”
The NYPD issued a statement of its own, claiming that the officers were in a state of heightened alert after another officer had been slashed in Brooklyn hours earlier and didn’t realize Bahadoran no longer had his knife. They also maintain the Bahadoran lunged at the officers and was reaching for his empty knife sheath.
“When responding officers arrived, they saw the individual motion toward a large sheath on his waistband,” said the statement.
In the video, Officer Jillian Suarez and Officer Melissa Brown can be seen walking into the deli with Bahadoran close behind. Bahadoran begins shouting at Brown and pulls out his knife.
Brown unholsters her taser, but Bahadoran walks towards her with his knife raised and chases her behind the counter. Suarez exits the store and calls for backup, leaving Brown by herself with two store employees.
Bahadoran continues waving the knife until one of the employees hands him a package of cigarettes. When Bahadoran places his knife on the counter to pick up the cigarettes, the employees snatches it up and hands it to Brown.
Suarez is standing at the door pointing her service weapon at Bahadoran, but he walks towards her and shoves her outside as he leaves.
Three additional officers arrive on the scene, and all surround Bahadoran with their service weapons drawn. Bahadoran shoves one of the arriving officers, and Suarez and Officer Bryan Rozanski each fire one shot.
Bahadoran falls down immediately and lies still.
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He was transported to a hospital where he was treated for his injuries. He survived but is suffering from paralysis, according to his lawyer.
Bahadoran, a former Wall Street Trader, told the Daily News that he suffers from a bipolar condition and was agitated by ongoing protests in the city over the killing of George Floyd.
“I was manic, paranoid, scared, anxious,” Bahadoran said. “You are watching everything. You are doing things that are not normal.”
Bahadoran is out on bail while awaiting trial on charges including attempted robbery and menacing a police officer.